Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Castles And Murder Ballads

The bright yellow Great Hall, post-restoration, of Stirling Castle in Scotland.  Photo via Slate.com.
As I've mentioned many times, I listen to a lot of podcasts when I drive.  I've written about some of my favorites in the past, and I'm always looking for new ones to add to my lineup. If you're looking for ways to pass the time, here are a few to consider.

If you haven't heard about Serial yet, you need to know about it.  It's a spin-off of NPR's This American Life and Sarah Koenig did an amazing job presenting the story within its 12 episodes. It's a true crime story - about Adnan Syed, who's been in prison for 16 years for a crime many people don't think he did - and the popularity of the podcast stirred up enough doubt to re-examine the case.  Like a good book you can't put down, this is a podcast you can't stop listening to.  Find the complete first season on the website.

A spin-off of the spin-off, 
Undisclosed: The State v. Adnan Syednot produced by NPR but put together by attorneys Rabia Chaudry (family friend of Adnan Syed), Colin Miller, and Susan Simpson, is equally as addicting as Serial. It's not as riveting as Sarah Koenig's prsentation, because Sarah kinda leaves you wanting more at the end of each episode, but it makes me want to know more, which helped me decide that I'll definitely be following this case to the end.

Death, Sex, and Money.  Host Anna Sale talks to people about "relationships, money, family, work, and making it all count while we're here."  A good listen.

99% Invisible, hosted by Roman Mars is one of my absolute favorite podcasts. It's production quailty is superior, Roman's voice is mesmerizing, and he brings every episode to life.  I can't tell you how many times I will further research something I heard about on his show.  Recent episodes, "The Great Restoration"(about the restoration of Stirling Castle in Scotland), "Lawn Order", "It's Hard to Love a Brute", "The Sunshine Hotel", "From The Sea, Freedom", and "Awareness" are just fantastic.  Find all of them on the website.

Technology, Entertainment, and Design.  TED.  Guy Raz brings you some great TED Talks through the TED Radio Hour show.  He highlights snippets of the talks, interviews the speakers, and provides you with a "journey through fascinating ideas, astonishing inventions, and new ways to think and create."

The podcasts above I've been listening to for a long time, Criminal is a new one. "Stories of people who've done wrong, been wronged, or gotten caught somewhere in the middle." In one night of driving, I listened to every episode since its inception. I'm now up to date. And if you've never heard a Murder Ballad, this is the place to be introduced to one of the earliest ones, about Pearl Bryan

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2014: Not Really Trucking From NOAA To WHOI
2013: Paddling The Hudson 
2012: Cue The Flying Monkeys
2011: Project Island Life
2010: Be Italian
2009: I’m Not Just In The Granny Lane Anymore
2008: Where Pretty Resides
2007: The Sweet Sight Of Summer
2006: You Oughta Be In Pictures
2005: Oh, Brother!

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